In the night the lowest brightness setting on iPad (1st gen) is still too bright.

Is it possible to set it even lower somehow?

On iBooks it's possible but it works only on iBooks itself and not on whole iPad.

running the latest iOS 5.1

  • I would prefer to do this with not jailbroken device
    – bakytn
    Mar 25, 2012 at 19:12
  • 1
    Then you’re out of luck, I’m afraid. Hopefully, a future iOS software update will lower the arbitrary limit. Mar 25, 2012 at 19:14
  • I received an iPad mini w/ Retina (7.1.1) fathers day and it appears this is still an issue. Are there other options for the newer iOS? Jun 24, 2014 at 2:07

9 Answers 9


Many people use the black on white mode to invert the color mapping for applications that will not specify more of the LCD to be grey or black and less of it white. Some blog articles call this "night mode" but it's a typical adjustment for people that have different visual abilities.

Settings App -> General –> Accessibility –> Triple-click Home -> “Toggle White on Black.”

Even though you can't reduce the illumination of the lights in the iPad further without a jailbreak, you can use this system setting to increase the amount of light that gets blocked in many cases by triple clicking the home button.

Also, many apps are being programmed to only draw in night mode where only red pixels are used. This also cuts down on the transmission of colors that our eyes use to constrict pupils and preserve night vision. This isn't a general solution, but for apps like Star Walk - this works very well in practice.

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  • 1
    This is the solution for me, not an actual answer for the question but it works. For late night reading it's great.
    – bakytn
    Mar 28, 2012 at 15:43

Depending on just how much you want the brightness lowered, you might consider applying a screen protector to the iPad. Reviews of the Splash Masque Screen Protector in particular mention that the display seems slightly darker when the protector is applied. The reviews take this as a negative, but if that's the effect you're looking for, you could exploit this side effect for your advantage.

In the absence of a non-jailbreak software solution, a hardware solution might be your best bet.


On a jailbroken iPad, you can use SBSettings to lower the brightness even further than the arbitrary lower limit that iOS normally allows.

Without jailbreaking, you can lower the brightness beyond the settings limit only in the iBooks app (as you mentioned), not system-wide.

  • 1
    Accepting because it seems there is just no other way than using JB. Thanks!
    – bakytn
    Mar 25, 2012 at 19:46

The ipad generation 1 has an LED backlit LCD, so if the hardware supported it, it could go lower (if it were CCFL it would have a limit before it turned off completely).

However, the backlight hardware simply doesn't let it go lower - similar to the iPhone 3GS. Remember that when they came out you could only change the brightness in Settings, and Apple didn't provide nor see a need to dim them further until the iPad became the success it was, and people complained that the minimum brightness was too high.

iBooks includes a workaround specifically because people complained about brightness issues when reading in the dark. Once you try to go below the minimum supported backlight brightness, ibooks starts to decrease the brightness of the screen simply by using darker colors. You can see this by setting iBooks very low on a gen one ipad, then taking a screen shot, then setting it very high and taking a screenshot. The actual image is darker.

I haven't played with SBSettings to find out if it actually causes the backlight hardware to lower the brightness (which, despite the hardware not supporting it, is still possible if you get the CPU to PWM dim the backlight itself - but it costs you CPU cycles) or if it modifies the video driver to reduce the color space so that all apps appear dimmer.


Try "Night web browser by Alex". Only a web browser but you can dim the screen as much as you like.

  • 1
    Its an iphone app, question says ipad
    – tim
    Jan 1, 2014 at 2:42

To lower brightness lower than the limit:

Settings app > General > Accessibility > Zoom:

Set Zoom Region > "Full Screen Zoom"

Set Zoom Filter > "Low Light"

Set Maximum Zoom Level all the way to the right (The highest value)

Go back to Accessibility:

Settings app > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut:

Set "Triple-Click The Home Button For" > Zoom

To Test: Triple click the home button and the screen will go darker.


Reduce White Point

There's a display accommodation called Reduce White Point. It reduces the intensity of bright colours and therefore drastically reduces the brightness.

In Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size, enable Reduce White Point and drag the slider to the desired percentage of bright colours reduction (the higher the number, the lower the brightness).

Screenshot taken on iPad 6th gen running iPadOS 16.3 in Settings > Accessibility > Display & Brightness; a red box (annotation) is around the Reduce White Point section

It is also possible for you to turn it on by triple-clicking the Home/Side button. To enable this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut and enable Reduce White Point.

I have this setting enabled almost all day every day. It reduces the brightness enough to avoid my eyes hurt when I use my iPad in the dark. I disable it only when I'm outside in the sun.


Use a cooling glass while using iPad at night.

  • 2
    What's a cooling glass? How do you use one? Where would I go to obtain one? Your answer needs more details to be useful.
    – Cajunluke
    Oct 12, 2012 at 16:40
  • I googled it and it seems that cooling glass is just another word for sunglasses which could help solve your problem
    – user44066
    Mar 1, 2013 at 6:24
  • 1
    Corey Hart was right!
    – Dan J
    Jun 14, 2013 at 21:54

There's no way to do that because the video driver has established limits in his firmware.

  • 1
    There is no firmware limit. In iBooks, you can set the brightness to a much lower value compared to the iOS-wide setting (which has an arbitrary minimum). Mar 26, 2012 at 6:23
  • That's by software, i.e. If you open the multitasking bar while iBooks are open and with a lower value, you will see that the multitasking bar has the minimun possible by the system, not by the app per se.
    – ignaciotr
    Mar 26, 2012 at 10:20

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